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Socioeconomic status, self-efficacy, and mathematics achievement in Australia: a secondary analysis

McConney, A. and Perry, L.B. (2010) Socioeconomic status, self-efficacy, and mathematics achievement in Australia: a secondary analysis. Educational Research for Policy and Practice, 9 (2). pp. 77-91.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10671-010-9083-4
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Abstract

Previous studies have shown that both student and school socioeconomic status (SES) are strongly associated with student outcomes, but less is known about how these relationships may vary for different students, schools and nations. In this study we use a large international dataset to examine how student SES, school SES and self-efficacy are associated with mathematics performance among 15-year-old students in Australia. We found that increases in school SES are consistently associated with substantial increases in achievement in mathematics and this phenomenon holds for all groups, regardless of their individual SES. Furthermore, our findings show that the association of school SES with maths achievement persists even when subject-specific self-efficacy is taken into account. However, our findings also suggest modest differences among student groups disaggregated by these factors. In particular, the association between maths achievement and school SES appears moderately stronger for students with higher levels of self-efficacy compared with their peers with lower self-efficacy. Furthermore, among students with similar levels of self-efficacy, the association between maths achievement and school SES tends to be stronger for lower SES students than for their more privileged peers. From these findings, we highlight the importance of the Australian case for comparable systems of education, and provide a discussion of policy implications and strategies for mitigating the influence of school socioeconomic composition on academic achievement more generally.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright: © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/3723
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